Consumer Credit “Protection With ACTION”
A central web site now allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report or call (877) 322-8228.
We guard your privacy. It's OUR POLICY TO PROTECT!
General Frequently Asked Questions:
You have the right to ask that nationwide consumer credit reporting companies place "fraud alerts" in your file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft. A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you. It also may delay your ability to obtain credit. You may place a fraud alert in your file by calling just one of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two, which then also must place fraud alerts in your file.
A credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, provides you with all of the information in your credit file maintained by a consumer reporting company that could be provided by the consumer reporting company in a consumer report about you to a third party, such as a lender. A credit file disclosure also includes a record of everyone who has received a consumer report about you from the consumer reporting company within a certain period of time ("inquiries"). The credit file disclosure includes certain information that is not included in a consumer report about you to a third party, such as the inquiries of companies for pre-approved offers of credit or insurance and account reviews, and any medical account information which is suppressed for third party users of consumer reports. You are entitled to receive a disclosure copy of your credit file from a consumer reporting company under Federal law and the laws of various states.
In addition to consumers who are eligible for a free credit report through the Annual Credit Report Request Service; consumers in some states are eligible for a free credit report under state law. The following states have laws that make free credit reports available to consumers: Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont.
You are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This free credit report can be requested through this website, by phone or by mail.
You are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies through the Central Source. It is entirely your choice whether you order all three credit reports at the same time or order one now and others later. The advantage of ordering all three at the same time is that you can compare them. (However, you will not be eligible for another free credit report from the Central Source for 12 months.) On the other hand, the advantage of ordering one now and others later (for example, one credit report every four months) is that you can keep track of any changes or new information that may appear on your credit report. Remember, you are entitled to receive one free credit report through the Central Source every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – so if you order from only one company today you can still order from the other two companies at a later date.
If free credit reports are available in your state through the Annual Credit Report Request Service, you can request a free annual credit report by phone or mail and it will be mailed within 15 days. However, you can receive a report immediately by using this secure website. Click on this link to find information on how to request a free annual credit report by phone or mail. Hearing impaired consumers can access our TDD service at 1-877-730-4104.
The credit reporting agencies do not knowingly maintain credit files on minor children. If you suspect that your minor child's information has been used fraudulently, you should contact the credit reporting agencies directly and report the illegal use of your child's information to law enforcement. Please supply each credit reporting agency with your child's complete name, address, date of birth and a copy of the minor child's birth certificate and social security card. Additionally, please provide a copy of your driver's license or other government-issued proof of your identity, which includes your current address, and a current utility bill containing your current address so the credit reporting agencies may promptly respond to your request. The addresses for the credit reporting agencies are listed below:
You may request that consumer credit reporting companies exclude your name from lists for pre-approved, unsolicited credit and insurance offers. To find out more, please call 1–888–5OPTOUT (1–888–567–8688).
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a complex mathematical model that evaluates many types of information in a credit file. A credit score is used by a lender to help determine whether a person qualifies for a particular credit card, loan, or service. Most credit scores estimate the risk a company incurs by lending a person money or providing them with a service –– specifically, the likelihood that the person will make payments on time in the next two to three years. Generally, the higher the score, the less risk the person represents.
You can purchase a credit score by contacting one of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies.
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions consumers to be wary of companies that make claims regarding credit repair. These companies, commonly called credit clinics, don't do anything for consumers that consumers cannot do for themselves at little or no cost. Beware of any organization that offers to create a new identity and credit file for you. The FTC and state attorneys general have filed actions against those who pursue these fraudulent practices. Here are some warning signs that the FTC and others say consumers should look out for to determine if they might be dealing with a credit clinic:
For a helpful brochure about credit clinics, you can write to the Federal Trade Commission, Sixth and Pennsylvania Avenues, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004 and request a brochure titled "Credit Repair: Self Help May Be Best."
Please visit the Federal Trade Commission Credit Repair information at https://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/repair.htm
Please visit the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Center at
The Annual Credit Report Request Service recognizes the importance of secure online transactions, and takes steps to safeguard the privacy of information you provide through online forms. For your online requests for free credit reports, programs encrypt the information you provide on the request form before transmission to the selected nationwide consumer credit reporting company(ies). This information is decrypted only upon receipt by the selected credit reporting company(ies). Physical, electronic and procedural safeguards designed to guard your personally identifiable information are maintained.
You must enter your Social Security Number to receive a free credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com. The site’s security protocols and measures are designed to protect the personally identifiable information you provide from unauthorized access or alteration. As an added security measure, you can choose to have your credit report display no more than the last four digits of your Social Security number.
To assure that your credit file is disclosed only to you, the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies will authenticate your identity utilizing the personal identification information you provide on this site, including, but not limited to, your Social Security number, and then require that you answer certain questions. For your protection, if your identity cannot be authenticated for online delivery of your credit report, you will receive further instructions on how to request your report for delivery by the U.S. Postal Service. Failure to authenticate for online delivery of your annual credit report is not an indicator of fraudulent activity or identity theft.
OnGuardOnline.gov provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against phishing and internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.
Link to the FREE ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT WebSite: